Lawmakers, investigators and judges are pushing harder than ever to show that they are dedicated to punishing people convicted of health care fraud. The latest example involved a health care executive in Miami who was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison for Medicare fraud. The sentence is 20 years longer than any other sentence given in connection to Medicare fraud. The judge made it clear that it was his intent to provide a deterrent against healthcare fraud in South Florida, an area long regarded as the primary hot spot for fraudulent Medicare claims.
Last February, 111 people from across the country were charged after investigation by a Medicare fraud strike force. The action was the largest Medicare fraud bust in history. It involved more than 700 law enforcement officials targeting a range of actions they claimed defrauded the Medicare program of more than $225 million.
After serving five years for drug smuggling and money laundering, a Miami man turned his attention to the health care business. He now faces charges stemming from more than $7 million in fraudulent Medicare claims. He established his wife as the corporate officer of record to obtain a Medicare provider number and avoid any concerns about his criminal record.
A Florida-based mental health services provider recently reached a settlement with federal prosecutors after a former employee submitted hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent health care claims.
Florida has long been considered the leader in fraudulent Medicare billing. A Medicare fraud strike force used the results obtained in South Florida to launch a new computer system designed to identify questionable Medicare claims. The system, which will be used nationwide, has the potential to implicate countless medical facilities around the country in Medicare fraud scams.
Home dialysis equipment and dialysis treatment centers have recently been drawing the attention of federal prosecutors. Last week, a company providing dialysis services was ordered to pay the U.S. government more than $82 million for a Medicare fraud scheme spanning more than six years. Renal Care Group, Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. and Renal Care Group Supply Company ignored the advice of counsel and submitted millions of dollars in claims to the Medicare Program.
Gregory Campbell, the son of Representative Daphne Campbell, has been charged with fraudulently billing the government for nearly $300,000 worth of services that were not provided. Medicare fraud has received increased government attention in recent years as they attempt to address spiraling costs. The charges renewed interest in claims that Representative Campbell and her husband engaged in questionable practices while running nine adult care homes before she ran for office.
Two Florida-based companies, Medlink Professional Management Group and American Therapeutic Corp., entered guilty pleas in U.S. District Court on Tuesday. The charges stemmed from a Medicare fraud scheme that resulted in more than $200 million in improper claims.
A person can face serious consequences if they are convicted of Medicare fraud. What specific sentence a person in this circumstance will face can be influenced by a variety of factors. One of these factors is the monetary amount of the fraud the person was convicted of. This can be seen in a recent Medicare fraud case from Florida.
Authorities have been getting increasingly aggressive in their efforts to combat Medicare fraud. When authorities bring Medicare fraud charges against an individual, it can result in the individual in question facing serious consequences.